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Will New AdWords Tools Boost Social Media Revenues?

Late last week, Google added new demographic targeting tools to AdWords, allowing advertisers to target ads by age or gender on 31 publishers in its network. The biggest of these test sites were MySpace, Friendster and Google's own YouTube.

AdWords advertisers can already target demographically by site using panel data provided by comScore, but this is the first time they could actually target by user. TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld thinks big social media sites were included in the test because Google is still trying to find a way to make its social media inventory pay off. Remember, the search giant cited weak social networking revenues as one of the reasons it missed fourth quarter earnings. Could demographic targeting by user help turn that around?

Schonfeld thinks the tactic should yield better results, but when it comes to the greater problem of attracting meaningful social media dollars, it could be that Web 2.0 users are just better at tuning ads out. In that case, all the targeting in the world isn't going to help, much.

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